Monday, 22 October 2018

Final Call for the C*cksucker Trial!

Just a quick reminder folks that my trial for the alleged use of a single swear word is at Dudley Magistrates' Court tomorrow - Tuesday 23rd October - at 1.30pm.

If you want to see Sandwell Council's latest attempt to criminalise me and close down this blog - do come along. If the Court allows I have some explosive evidence and, if it does not, some will be disclosed on the steps of the Court after the trial......

I know some of you can't make it due to work etc and thanks for the messages of support. We will be going to The Lamp Tavern when the trial finishes and staying there through the early evening and so do drop in for a noggin if you can!

Whatever happens the anti-corruption in Sandwell Council campaign will continue. Keep the information coming folks! The bent Labour Council are trying to bog me down in legal stuff but after tomorrow I am back "on the case" and the Skidder has a number of projects "in progress"! Incidentally I note that many of you are preferring to write to me now because of concerns about the Police seizure of my phone a few months ago. That is absolutely fine and the address is:

Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG.

And don't forget the Facebook Group folks - see below for details.

Other contact details below as normal. See you all "on the other side....."


07930 361831                              Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders       Group: The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power!

Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Friday, 12 October 2018

Hackett's Data Breach - Part One

I have written at length already on this subject but have now located some new information about this topical matter - topical because the highly controversial Monitoring Officer of bent Labour Sandwell Council, Surjit Tour, wrote yesterday to all Councillors claiming that the increasingly unhinged "leader", Steve "The Milkman" Eling had made a "mistake" when saying he had not been aware of Hackett's data breach because no-one had told him! (More on that in Part Two....)

To gallop through the facts - Hackett was head of the absolutely disastrous Children's Services Department in February, 2016 when, in the course of his duties, he was handed a file relating to the child of a Labour Councillor. We all know that, like North Korea, the state and the party are one and the same thing in Sadders and that a number of councillors consider that the law of the land does not apply to the benighted Borough. It is common ground that Hackett (who had worked for a charity and was Chair of Trustees of the WBA Foundation and so was well aware of safeguarding and data issues) knew that the information was confidential and involved a child. Nevertheless he ran immediately to then Labour Leader [sic] Darren Cooper and spilt the beans to his political boss. It happened that on that day Cooper was holding his regular "political meeting" and so the breach was compounded by the matter being discussed there too. At least one SMBC employee was also present. [Query why a taxpayer-funded employee in Britton's bent paid service is sitting in on "political meetings"?]

It is hard to imagine a more obvious breach by Hackett of his duty of confidentiality and the Data Protection breach! It is said that there was a meeting almost immediately afterwards involving Cooper, Hackett, Jan Britton and another employee (who I think may have been called Chris Ward) and so, if this is true, the paid service were also fixed with notice - by the very fact of the presence of Cooper - that confidentiality etc had been breached.

A Standards Complaint was made against Hackett (one of several including the infamous incident when he urinated in a bus shelter). He was found, in the "final report", to be in breach of the code of conduct in respect of this particular matter. Cooper was now dead but who should come riding to the rescue of The Sandwell Slasher but Milko himself. Eling suddenly remembered that HE had actually also been at Cooper's political meeting months before and put a different slant on things (again, more on this anon). Ring out wild bells - a "final, final report" was produced exonerating Hackett completely! Local newspapers even ran "Hackett is Innocent" stories!

BUT.....Hackett didn't just breach confidentiality with Cooper (and, if you disbelieve Eling's evidence the others at the "political meeting" too) since on the same day he phoned then Chief Whip, Derek Rowley, and told him all about it! Simon may have had his c*ck out in public but you have to wonder whether he was anxious here to cover his arse since he then wrote a backside-shielding email to Rowley a week later. Happily I have it and can share it with you:

"Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎17‎ ‎February‎ ‎2016 ‎10‎:‎35
To: Derek Rowley

Morning Derek

This is to confirm that last Wednesday court papers were presented to me to sign regarding parents who had not xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

I immediately saw that one of the papers I was asked to sign was in relation to Councillor xxxxxxxxxxx. I therefore spoke to the Leader who said I needed to notify the Chief Whip. I therefore rang you last Wednesday.

Please let me know if you need any further information. 

Simon Hackett

Sent from my iPhone"

So there we have it. By his own hand Hackett admits blabbing confidential stuff about a child to both Cooper and Rowley who were not entitled to receive it. He is clearly trying to say that this further breach was down to Cooper but he was Head of Children's Services FFS! Hackett was NOT innocent and a subsequent ICO decision was that there had been a very clear and obvious breach of Data Protection rules. Other party members were not entitled to this information at that time. This is stating the bleeding obvious but the comrades still feel the need to cover this up!

What do you think folks - a "final, final, final" standards investigation and report into this morass of lies? Don't hold your breath!


More Skidder harassment. Another person has complained about me to West Midlands Police and they seek to interview me under caution AGAIN. More anon....


07930 361831                     Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders    Group:  The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power!

Twitter:  @SandwellSkidder

Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG.


Skidder Shorts #34 - Social Media Abuse

Bent Labour Sandwell Council have been crying foul lately about alleged "social media abuse" (which probably means legitimate criticism and exposure of their lies). I appreciate that Labour have farmed out the "traffic warden" service to a private company (whilst building UP Cllr Steve "Elying" Eling's force of paramilitaries) but, nevertheless, these people still represent the ugly face of the failing "socialist" dictatorship.

I am indebted to a concerned reader who has made formal complaint to Jan Britton and Cllr David Hosell about the social media output of one particular traffic warden resident in Tipton. His Facebook oeuvre includes such gems as these about the public and colleagues:

1   A picture of some women drinking in a Tipton pub - "Rough as a robber's dog."

2   Local people in Tipton described as "uneducated, knuckle-dragging fuck muppets."

3  Our friend asked a new Bulgarian colleague "where in Poland she was from". He continued "she ripped my fucking head off..... her card is now marked. Fucking arrogant rude obnoxious incompetent stain."

(In another post he made a "joke" about Polish people).

4  Two of his work colleagues are described as "miserable fuckers".

Charming, I'm sure!!!!

(Don't forget to come to the "C*cksucker Trial" if you can - Tuesday 23rd October - 1.30pm - Dudley Mags - and afterwards at The Lamp Tavern).


07930 361831              Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders    Group:  The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power

Twitter:  @SandwellSkidder

Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG.


Monday, 8 October 2018

Calling All C*cksuckers!

Just a reminder that my "c*cksucker" trial is just a fortnight away. The attempt to criminalise me for the alleged single use of the word "c*cksucker" is at Dudley Magistrates' Court at 1.30pm prompt on Tuesday 23rd October. The trial is due to last all afternoon so you can drop in at any time if you are finishing work etc (though keep an eye on social media for any developments...).

If you cannot get to Court we will be adjourning to the Lamp Tavern (link below) a short walk away for post-match analysis. Do drop in if you can!

I cannot say much about the case but hope to present some explosive evidence. If I am prevented from mentioning one particular thing in Court I will read it on the steps of the court afterwards to put on YouTube.

Following the police involvement in this matter I wrote to all Sandwell Labour Councillors warning them (or, more accurately, a percentage of them) that I was no longer going to tolerate their abuse of me. Almost immediately an incident occurred. Myself and A.N.Other complained to Oldbury Police. Now in my c*cksucker case Oldbury Police took the decision to prosecute with no reference to the CPS ( I cannot say more on this as it is part of my case). In the case of the alleged offence by a Labour Councillor, however, Oldbury Police have, er, referred the matter to the CPS. More on this soon but one rule for one.....????


07930 361831                    Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders         Group:  The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power

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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Friday, 5 October 2018

Chief Superintendent Richard Baker - Sandwell Police

Over and over again this blog has bemoaned the sickening relationship between corrupt Sandwell Labour and West Midlands Police.

This blog was hearing that Chief Sup't Baker was possibly "one of the good guys" but I now have direct evidence that the beleaguered "Leader" of bent Sandwell, Steve "The Milkman" Eling has been playing Iago to his Othello. Here is an email I have just sent to him which should be self-explanatory:

"Dear Chief Superintendent Baker,


I received some disturbing documentation yesterday. May I say from the outset that you, of course, cannot choose who sends email to you - this one being a case in point.

I am now aware that during the long Complex Crime Unit investigation into me on spurious and false allegations by Sandwell Labour Councillors Eling Marshall and Costigan, that Eling was in direct communication with you via email attempting to blacken my name.

I am particularly concerned with regard to one grossly defamatory email that Eling sent you. It is quite clear that this was not sent to you in an operational capacity connected to the Complex Crime Unit investigation.

In the circumstances I have today put in a subject access request to WMP for all emails passing between you and Eling relating to me and, as above, since at least one had nothing to do with operational matters I expect them to be disclosed.

What I have already seen will lead to a civil claim in defamation (and possibly under the Protection from Harassment Act) against Eling without more. I am not sure what the protocol is but would like to take a formal statement from you regarding what I have seen so far, that it was sent to your email address etc for use in the civil claim. Please can you contact me to make appropriate arrangements?

I am sending a copy of this to Eling's private email address as his defamatory behaviour was not "council business" but purely malicious and political.

I await to hear from you.

Julian Saunders"

Complex Crime Unit

You will all know that I was subjected to the stress of a five month investigation by the WMP Complex Crime Unit who seemingly haven't got anything else to do. Now fresh evidence is coming out from SMBC itself that all that I said about the WhatsApp feed etc was, er, true. Accordingly I have asked the CCU to examine the new evidence with a view to taking action against the liars:

"Dear DS Xxxxxxxx,


The Complex Crime Unit investigated me for five months on totally spurious allegations from three Sandwell Labour Councillors, Eling, Marshall and Costigan. 

As pointed out to you during the investigation Costigan gave a false statement telling deliberate lies about me.

You may not be aware but Sandwell Council held what purported to be a "Standards Hearing" last week involving, inter alia, Eling and Marshall. Lots of new evidence is now in the public domain (albeit incomplete as the allegedly "independent" investigation did not take evidence from me even though I was a key participant and, in certain areas, the ONLY witness!)

Can you please confirm that the Complex Crime Unit will review the new evidence with a view to considering a possible prosecution(s) against any one or more of the complainants in respect of the deliberate provision of false statements to WMP?

I should add that your unit confiscated my phone for some considerable time and had access to the full UNREDACTED WhatsApp feed set up by Eling and Marshall to channel information to me. You therefore have access to some material which is not in the public domain. In particular you will see information about Ms Melanie Dudley which the pair were anxious for me to put in the public domain which was highly damaging and, more to the point. totally false. It must be remembered that Ms Dudley was an employee of the Council at the time.

I am sending Ms Dudley a copy of this email as I understand she made formal complaint to you concerning these matters.

Julian Saunders"


Nearly two thousand of you have already seen the shocking bullying of me yesterday at Sandwell Council House - if you haven't click here:

The very aggressive man (see picture) who hid his ID and refused to identify himself has been named as Stuart "Clacker" Clarke (not to be confused with someone of the same name who I think works in IT). I have made a formal complaint about the aggression etc yesterday to Jan Britton.

If this chap is "Clacker" I am told he got his job through the intervention of xxxxxxxxxx (more anon after my Court case (23rd October 1.30 Dudley Mags and thereafter at the Lamp Tavern, Dudley - all welcome). As ever, info welcome..............


07930 361831                       Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders         Group:  The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power

Twitter:   @SandwellSkidder

Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Shocking SMBC Bullying Of Blogger!

I am trying to keep this blog short as it is essential for you to view the videos here - particularly 1, 2 and 3.

I was in Oldbury yesterday. On the way there someone sent me a message that Melanie Dudley had been on the radio about the bullying she was on the receiving end of when Eling decided he wanted her out and he and Marshall asked me to, inter alia, "give her a kicking".

I will write about all this shortly but suffice to say here that the liar Eling is desperately trying to distance himself from all this and blame Marshall. There are various questions the media should ask. A non-exclusive list should include:

  1. Why did Eling want Melanie out?;
  2. If Marshall did not get the confidential information about this and much else from Eling where did he get it from? Who in Jan Britton's bent paid service was telling Marshall this highly-sensitive stuff? If it was NOT Eling (and that is a very big "IF") then it had to be someone very senior....! There must be an properly independent inquiry.
  3. The so-called "independent investigation" into this did not interview me even though I am the key player in the WhatsApp saga. I have only put up a redacted version of the feed via this blog. Folk should be aware that Eling and Marshall were very anxious for me to publish some really bad (and totally UNTRUE) stuff about Melanie, which I fortunately didn't. Local media should be aware that they haven't got all the facts here!)
My informant about the radio stuff said SMBC had given the BBC a press release half-heartedly accepting the shocking bullying by them of Melanie but also pleading that they were somehow the victims in all this because folk were using social media to attack the deeply corrupt Council! Accordingly, when I got to Oldbury I went into the Council House (a public building) and asked at reception if I could get a copy of the press release. The member of staff made a phone call and then told me I had to apply in writing for it to Chief Executive [sic] Jan Britton!!!!!! She offered me a piece of paper but I said I might as well email.

I went back to the linkway and plugged my phone in. I started to write an email to Britton when two of Eling's paramilitaries approached me. They asked me what I was doing and before I could answer asked me to leave! No reason given whatsoever except "we are obeying orders". I managed to film most of this exchange:

I had not completed my email and said I would do so in the main building. I went there and sat down when another gang of the wardens appeared including their very aggressive bearded leader who had no collar number and refused to identify himself. By this time I was sending a second email to Britton - a subject access report in respect of this thuggery! Please look at videos two and three. This is in a public building!

WE as taxpayers are paying for this! 

There is not a lot on video four save that you will see that two of the stormtroopers are on the walkway and I remind our anonymous bearded friend that I am a member of the public and deserve due respect and demanded he stop calling me by my first name.

Clearly with my forthcoming trial (Dudley Mags 23rd October 1.30pm - all welcome) they were trying to wind me up and get me in trouble with the police again. Eling was not on the premises so who ordered this horrendous harassment?

[I am indebted to Rob Mayor of the BBC for simply sending me the press release which Britton would not let me see.]

Incidentally, the following photo does not show this but when Melanie turned up at the Standards "Hearing" about Eling and Marshall last week with her 90 year-old vicar father, Jan Britton or his bent staff thought they were sufficiently dangerous that they had to sit to the side of the chamber under guard from one of Eling's heavies (just out of shot to the left)! As if they didn't bully her enough first time around they had to do it again - publicly!


07930 361831                  Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders    Group:  The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power

Twitter:  @SandwellSkidder

Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Come Clean Please Brendon Batson!

When I shivered on the Brummie Road End many moons ago, little did I think that three of my blue and white-striped heroes - yes, "The Three Degrees" - would, one day, be the subject of a ghastly, cartoonish, statue plonked in West Brom's shopping centre. Had I been told the saga of Mr Jim Cadman's involvement in this absurdity I would have condemned it as improbable fiction.....

I have written many blogs on Sunny Jim and his hideous scheme but in summary:

1   Cadman has portrayed himself as some sort of altruistic "fundraiser" - erecting statues of sports and other "celebrities" throughout the land in association with a sculptor called Graham Ibbeson. Make no mistake this pair are in business together and do this to make money.

2   This blog has listed the host of failed companies in which Cadman has been involved. At one point I put up the accounts for Ibbeson's two companies which did not make happy reading either. Cadman has left many creditors nursing losses including HMRC and cash-strapped local councils from Barnet to Blackburn.

Cadman is an oleaginous salesman of the old school. He finds a schtick to promote his statue projects. He always tries to get the deceased's family involved/exploit them (take your pick) to tug at the heartstrings of gullible donors (eg Laurie Cunningham's son in the the case of the "Three Degrees Statue").

Jim knows that football supporters are particularly one-eyed when it comes to their team and particularly credulous when he spins his schemes to promote "their" club (eg Leeds United cold-shouldered his Don Revie Statue scheme but fan pressure forced the Club to actually provide a small site for it outside Elland Road.)

(One who was not so gullible was former Baggies Chairman Jeremy Peace who wanted nothing to do with greaser Jim and refused to have the pathetic statue anywhere near The Hawthorns! Take note Baggies fans...)

Cadman also knows that the world of top-flight football is awash with money and he wants some of it. Further the issue of racism in footie is currently - and quite rightly - "in vogue" with more shed loads of cash available if people "press the right buttons." Thus "whiter-than-white" Jim suddenly became an unlikely champion of black footballers trying to make money from not one but TWO statues - for our own "Three Degrees" and one for the first black footballer, Arthur Wharton, in Rotherham. (By yet another amazing Sandwell coincidence the Labour Leader of deeply corrupt Sandwell Council, Steve "The Milkman" Eling, works for that other Labour basket case, er, Rotherham Council.)

It is incredible to me in this day and age that a person like Cadman can simply ask the general public to give him money for a PRIVATE business project without any formal prospectus, no checks whatsover whether he is telling the truth and complete unaccountability for the monies received. The money is NOT being paid into one of his companies* and there is no trust or other charity administering the donations. Does he pay tax on these receipts? Where is the money held (or is it used in Jim's many other business ventures until it is needed?) How much has he raised and how much has he spent on his grand "dinners" etc? (I was contacted by someone who donated items belonging to a very well-known football figure for a raffle and who was very concerned what had happened to them).

Sunny Jim kicked this all off with a grand event in Birmingham Town Hall no less, hosted by Frank Skinner. A source close to Skinner says he was paid his full - large - fee for this event although his management company has refused to say how much he actually scored. Cadman has promised (for what that is worth) that "profits" from various events would go into the the statue "fund" (whatever that is) but how much did he rake in and how much did he have to pay out (to hire Birmingham Town Hall and The Hawthorns to name but two expensive venues). How did HE calculate these secret "profits"?

Don't get me wrong fellow Baggies fans. If you want to pay a businessman to provide an awful private statue then so what? It's a free country (at least outside the Hermit Kingdom of Sadders!) Do as you please. But even then there must surely be some sort of accountability for how that money is spent?

A short interlude for all real football fans reading this. Sandwell Council are giving the local Warley League a very hard time. Cllr Eling and his supposedly "socialist" cronies (notably Cllr Paul Moore) are also destroying the football pitches and vital open land at Londonderry Fields (check out "Save Londonderry Lane Playing Fields" on Facebook) at a time when child obesity is rampant in the sh*thole Borough and every bit of green space should be cherished and nurtured. Even worse, Moore especially, is hell bent on forcing through a bent deal with a property developer to destroy the  huge 19ha greenfield site at Lion Farm, Oldbury, by M5 J2. The Warley League have 11 grass pitches there and Eling wants to build a shopping centre over them. Local football isn't just about the Baggies. Support real-life grassroots football and green space for kids to play folks instead of nostalgia w*nkfest statues.....!)


So, private money for a private business project if folk are daft enough to want to enrich Cadman is ok BUT....

This blog has shown that bent Sandwell Council (when "money-man" Eling was statutory Deputy Leader) took planning gain monies for new developments (including New Square in West Brom) which were intended to improve local infrastructure for local people and lumped them into a slush fund to spend on anything they fancied and without having to make detailed public disclosure of their self-promoting vanity projects. Thus Eling and Co agreed to donate £30,000 of OUR money secretly to Cadman! I broke this story long ago following a Freedom of Information request.

Please remember that after 44 years of Labour dictatorship in Sandwell the pisspoor Borough is at or near the bottom of every deprivation league table going. Its Children's Services department was so bad a Tory government had to intervene to stop them doing anymore damage to vulnerable kids. In the football world Sandwell would have long since been relegated to non-league status. I suppose £30k is just pocket-money for Brendon Batson but Sandwell people NEED that money and it should be paid back NOW! Still, better for Labour to glorify in a crap statue than try and stop children being raped and

Sandwell Council are unable or unwilling to account for the whereabouts of OUR £30k. I will ask one more time: "where's the f*cking money and the accounts Cadman?"

Eling and other failing Labour councillors also pulled another stunt. Even though the statue is brown bronze and meant to represent three black footballers (though in my opinion the pictures of it seem to portray our handsome heroes as gurning simpletons) they sprayed three black men, er, gold to pretend to be the statue! This apparent racism was paid for from public money looted by Sandwell Labour from an Arts Council grant to the Sandwell Arts Festival!

We all know that the bent Council has a propaganda machine costing us taxpayers over half a million pounds a year and the local equivalent of "Pravda" also doing their bidding ie. "The Express and Star" aka "The Wolvo C*cksuckers". The "Star" have been incessant cheerleaders for this crazed project without once asking how much money Cadman has had off folk nor where he has secretly spent it.

Thus on 28th July the C*cksuckers breathlessly announced that the "final £38,000" for the ugly thing had been found. How was this £38,000 calculated? The statue is said to cost £220,000 (way more, incidentally that many other Cadman statue projects). Where are the invoices to show this? If £38,000 was needed that means Cadman had allegedly raised £220,000 - £38,000 = £182,000. But Sunny Jim has had large expenses eg Frank Skinner, Birmingham Town Hall, hire of The Hawthorns etc PLUS his "cut". So how much as he raised to get the net figure of £182,000? One million? Half a million? Tell us Cadman! (And why wasn't Eling asking to see the accounts before he and his mates agreed to hand over £30k of public money to a private businessman?) If all is above board Jim I give me the details and I will publish them on here for all to see!

According to the C*cksuckers the balance is being made up by The Professional Footballers' Association - itself an organisation not immune from controversy. The PFA is an incredibly rich charity run by Gordon Taylor. Last year its income was a stonking £27 million!!!! (Let's hope some of that eventually gets used to save the Warley League - see above).

BUT despite its wealth and alleged arrogance the PFA is still a registered charity. Is it a valid use of the charity's funds to give money to a private business enterprise run secretively by Cadman without sight of the accounts for what has gone on so far? I duly wrote to the PFA on 26th July, 2018 but they failed to reply:

"Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2018, 12:12
Subject: Three Degrees Statue, West Bromwich
To: <>

It is being reported that you have given a substantial donation to the above.

I write the Sandwell Skidder blog about local matters and have written extensively about the proposed statue. 

Can you please state:

1 The amount of your donation; and
2  Whether you saw Jim Cadman's accounts for this project before you agreed your donation. 


Julian Saunders


The Trustees of the PFA Charity need to step up to the penalty spot here and tell us why their donation is within the terms of the trust deed of the charity and what the financial position of the whole project actually is. Happily, and not mentioned by the C*cksuckers, there is one Trustee who is uniquely positioned to tell us the truth about what has actually gone on with Sunny Jim and this statue over several years. Yes, from the list of the PFA's trustees on the Charities Commission website, step forward Mr Brendon Batson MBE.....!!!!

* The latest accounts for Jim's latest company, Cornerstone Marketing Limited, are in abbreviated form but show net current assets at a tiny £739!


The Chief Executive of bent Sandwell Council, Jan Britton, is STILL deliberately following the Twitter troll account! My account is back up @SandwellSkidder.


07930 361831                   Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders          Group:  The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power

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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Jan Britton Follows Troll

Jan Britton, who purports to be the "Chief Executive" of bent Sandwell Council, is trying to criminalise me for the alleged single use of a swear word. I cannot say anymore about that as I am to stand trial for this at Dudley Magistrates Court on 23rd October at 1.30pm. Therefore the matter is sub-judice.

A couple of days ago I wrote about how my Twitter account had been hacked. I pointed the finger at Andrew Hipkiss a local computer geek (who also claims to be mentally ill). Twitter have known he is a major troll for years but actively permit him to continue on the site as he generates so much traffic. (He is on state benefits so we all pay for his incessant output.) Twitter permit him to "morph" his account into a new name when the inevitable complaints about his content start pouring in on each "new" account.West Midlands Police were also well aware of this when Darren Cooper was the "leader" of bent Sadders. Given the corrupt relationship between WMP and Sandwell Council they failed to take any action against the trolls. Even two serving police officers were disgusted with this particularly after my post "Cooper Exposed" of 11th April, 2015 when a sting operation caught Dickhead Daz out. The two officers both told me that the information therein was a "game-changer" but an unknown WMP officer actively prevented any investigation of the man the Chief Constable called his "friend".....

(If you read "Cooper Exposed" you will note references to the Twitter account "@OdgenW" who was, in fact, Andrew Hipkiss).

After the "Cooper Exposed" blog and with the full knowledge that his trolling of me and my wife was immune from police investigation he openly flaunted his relationship with Hipkiss. By this time Hipkiss had morphed from @OdgenW to "@Ennabran". Cooper even offered preferential treatment ie to have Council staff (paid for by you and I) move on travellers close to Hipkiss's then SMBC Council property on the Yew Tree.

[I wonder if the "relevant people" included Jan Britton's new "right-hand man"????]

Hipkiss had other cheerleaders amongst Sandwell Labour notably ex-Councillor Preet Kaur Gill (now, incredibly, an MP) and "Socialist Landlord" Cllr John "Jedward" Edwards.

A few weeks ago I set up the @SandwellSkidder Twitter account. Immediately Hipkiss (now using the latest of many Twitter names @Socialism_UK) stated he would get the account taken down and his tweet was immediately approved by Jedward via a retweet:

As we saw in my recent post Hipkiss did not just troll me but actively hacked the Twitter system and took the @SadwellSkidder account. In a bizarre twist, Twitter has suspended me and let Hipkiss keep the fake account! Hipkiss has set about trying to prejudice my trial:

And pretending to be me and referring to my occupation (or part of it):

Hipkiss is trying to pretend that the account is a "parody" but the fact he actually hacked the Twitter system and stole my account shows his malicious and evil intentions.

My excellent "Skidder Team" spotted yesterday that the Troll account set up to harass me and get me off Twitter had a single solitary "follower":

Who is this person? Yes, it is Jan Britton, the Chief Executive [sic] of Sandwell Council!

Lest you wonder whether this was just more trickery from Hipkiss we checked Britton's own account. At the relevant time he was following 43 accounts one of which was the troll:

So does Britton know Hipkiss? At worst, this is a very serious matter indeed. At best, it is a monumental error of judgement from a man supposedly "running" a major local authority. Any info welcome, as ever....

[I am planning various legal moves against Hipkiss. His wife threw him out of the Yew Tree property but he is probably in a Sandwell council house (in which case a complaint of use of the property for anti-social purposes will be made).]


07930 361831                   Email:

Facebook:  Julian Saunders     Group:  The Sandwell Skidder - Speaking Truth to Power

Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Skidder Twitter Account Hacked!

Regular readers will know that the late Leader [sic] of Sandwell Council joined forces with Mr Andrew Hipkiss and others to troll me (and my wife) and get my Twitter accounts closed down. They used over SIXTEEN troll accounts and months were spent before Twitter closed most of them down*.

Twitter are well aware of Hipkiss's trolling and actually support it because he spends eighteen hours a day on the site and generates lots of traffic! They have been well aware of him for over three years but every time complaints start flooding in about his conduct they permit him to simply clone his account to a new name. They have let him do this several times. His current cloned account is @Socialism_UK. (Incidentally Cllr John Edwards is very keen on promoting Hipkiss).

Not long ago I set up a Twitter account in my own name and with all my own information: Jules Saunders @SandwellSkidder. Here is the public profile:

Immediately Hipkiss (a computer buff who claims to be mentally ill) said he would get the account closed down.

Yesterday Hipkiss hacked the account actually cloning my Twitter name which I believe to be a criminal offence. He set up a similar account with the actual Twitter handle @SandwellSkidder:

Note that he has identified the area where I live.

Last night I went through the usual rigmarole with Twitter - reporting him for impersonation, sending off my passport etc but guess what? I sh*t ye not but Twitter have suspended MY account for impersonation and let Hipkiss keep the malicious fake account going! This from Twitter:

This even seems to have taken Hipkiss by surprise and he put this mocking Tweet up about the so-called "parody" (ie troll) account outlasting the target:

Now Hipkiss is pretending to be me and sending stuff out supposedly in my name eg posts from the blog.


Andy, a day of reckoning IS coming....

* It is a work in progress but see, for many examples, "Darren Cooper's Troll Legacy" at

Contact details remain as normal barring via Twitter, of course (although a PR firm will be advertising this blog from now on).


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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Monday, 17 September 2018

The GMB Union - A Short "Apology"....

Hitherto this blog has suggested that the GMB Union, in their dealings with Sandwell Council, have been less than enthusiastic about fighting the management [sic] of the bent Borough. I have asked whether they formed a pact with the Devil himself , Dickhead Daz, to "go easy" on the corrupt Council in return for Sandwell Leisure Trust being saved?

(With regard to SLT - in a matter as yet reported in The Skidder - a number of SLT employees met with me in a Birmingham pub when they were slated for redundancy complaining vociferously to me about what THEY perceived to be a lack of union representation to protect their interests!).

When I disclosed the WhatsApp feed set up by Labour Leader [lol] Steve "The Milkman" Eling and his bankrupt sidekick, (former) Councillor Marshall, to pass this blog confidential information I asked why the likes of the GMB were not protecting their members against the purge against the SMBC staff who were being dismissed if perceived to be disloyal to Milko? Who can forget such boasts from them as "Hurricane Eling is sweeping through Sandwell" as folk were thrown out of work by the so-called "socialists"?

It was my attempt to campaign on behalf of GMB member Amy Hodgkiss that has landed me in Dudley Magistrates Court next month. I was trying to enquire of Jan Britton, the head [sic] of the bent paid service, why she was treated differently from the six secretaries who Unite won compensation for? Amy is (or was) a GMB member.

Of course, the GMB now fund the vicious bully Tom Watson MP who purports to represent West Brom from his London lair. The former fatman is, of course, the de facto Leader of Sandwell Council and so, once again, there is a serious question about the union's "impartiality".

Watson cronies were placed on the short-lived disaster "the Labour Campaign Forum" in another manifestation of the bitter civil war within Sandwell Labour "Group". One of then was the GMB's own Mr Darren James.

In addition to my travails with the criminal milieu last week I was also fending off a claim against me by the GMB on behalf of a local member:

In respect of my above allegations (and others) clearly nothing could not be further from the truth! I now know the GMB are tireless and utterly ruthless in protecting their local members in Sandwell. Such is their "socialist" zeal they even want to increase the UK's homelessness problem!

They have said they will seek an injunction against me and claim damages and costs. They added "In this respect, we see that you are the joint registered owner [with my wife] of 11 Chelworth Road. If, as we fully expect, our client obtains judgment against you, it will be enforced, if necessary, by our seeking an order for sale of the property." Nice!

At least if the worst happens Linda and I should be able to get a Sandwell Council house PDQ in the bent Borough! This blog previously reported that during the Cooper era "a monkey" was the "going rate" for a Smethwick property though it was never specified who the money was to be paid to.... (Answers on a postcard please!)

And in Wednesbury, a childless couple (like ourselves) with excellent income (unlike ourselves) easily obtained a property despite, eg, press reports in 2016 that 6,000 were on the Sadwell waiting list and some folk had to wait 10 years for a property! The happy couple were GMB members. I think I am going to try to join "lol"!!!!!

(Have you considered joining The Skidder Facebook group? Details below...)


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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

C*cksuckers Put Boot In!

I am naturally rather circumspect in the current climate of using my usual nomenclature for The Express and Star "newspaper" but hey ho....

The Wolverhampton C*cksuckers have done a piece on my trial but linked it to a report of a Twitter spat with the late Darren "Dickhead Daz" Cooper from 2015!

Here is my email to the Editor tonight:

"I have seen your article tonight entitled "Sandwell Blogger to stand trial for 'harassing' council boss."

I appreciate that you are a propaganda machine for Sandwell Council and hate my guts by your piece is low even by your "standards" and intended to blacken my character and prejudice my trial. I would respectfully remind you that I am sixty year old and have never even had a parking ticket.

In the opening paragraph you state that I allegedly used "insulting words" whereas the prosecution has been brought solely in relation to one word.

You then drag up an allegation of harassment via Twitter from 2015 involving Sandwell super-liar, Darren Cooper deceased. This is a deliberate attempt to smear me. You have failed to mention that Cooper's own account Twitter account was suspended even though you reported on it yourselves! You failed to mention that Sandwell Council staff were permitted to help Cooper send two letters to my wife's then employers seeking to have her sacked. You failed to mention that Cooper had me covertly photographed on two occasions and used the products to harass me on social media. You failed to mention that Cooper was at the heart of a trolling campaign assisted by Andrew Hipkiss and others harassing me and my wife for many months. Twitter closed down some 16 (sixteen) trolling accounts operated by Cooper and Co. (Incidentally, pop along to my trial for some more on this). You can see some of this on the blog "Darren Cooper's Troll Legacy" - a work in progress at Happily the trolling stopped the night Cooper died in what many Labour councillors in Sandwell say was a drink and drug-fuelled binge.

You failed to mention that Cooper was interviewed at Steelhouse Lane Police Station in Birmingham in respect of harassment or that Jan Britton used taxpayers' money to have him ferried there and back in the Mayor's chauffeur-driven limousine and provided a Sandwell Council Solicitor to represent him. I could go on and on and on and on.....

My present case has nothing to do with Cooper or Twitter so your article is intended to prejudice my trial. I am sending a copy of this email to West Midlands Police.

Incidentally, you too had me covertly photographed yesterday by a cameraman using a long lens from across the street. If you want a photo simply ask or I can supply one for you.

I note that you have not said anything in the report of the District Judge's comments yesterday on the nature of the prosecution.

Julian Saunders"

Strangely I have been on the receiving end of other vile calumny this week but from an unexpected source! The left-wing Skwawkbox has been doing an excellent job in skewering the lies of bent Sandwell's Labour Leader [sic] Steve "E-lying" Eling - yes, The Milkman himself! Once again bloggers are leading the way in exposing Sandwell whereas the Wolvo C*cksuckers and their ilk do nowt.

I would urge you to read the two pieces on Eling so far this week (and the links are below) but in the first they accused me of being right-wing and, even worse, a supporter of UKIP! Following complaint they have edited the piece! (Here is a picture of my house which gives a visual clue that I might not be a Kipper "lol"!)

Thanks so much for the donations today - one particularly generous one! Here are the Skwawkbox links about Cllr E-lying:


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The Skidder is to stand trial on the afternoon of 23rd October, 2018 at Dudley Magistrates Court. Kick off is 1.30pm and the case will be dealt with by a District Judge ie a professional judge rather than a lay bench.

I cannot comment on the case as it is sub judice but can report on yesterday's proceedings - also before a District Judge.

The Skidder is charged under s.4 of the Public Order Act 1986 and entered a plea of not gulity.

The charge arises from the alleged use of a single swear word outside Oldbury Council House on 22nd May, 2018.

The District Judge publicly expressed incredulity that the Police had charged me under s4 which is an imprisonable offence and asked if the CPS had "reviewed" the charge. He was told that they had and that they intend to proceed with the s4 offence.

The CPS made an application to prevent me from personally cross-examining Prosecution witnesses but this was rejected.

The Skidder was granted unconditional bail.


It is rather annoying that even though I don't have a pot to piss in I am not entitled to Legal Aid for an imprisonable offence because of my wife's financial position! She, of course, is nothing to do with any of this but there we are.

Why not come along to Dudley Magistrates Court on The Inhedge on 23rd October? It should be "interesting" and one national newspaper has already indicated a desire to cover the story.

I do want someone along who can take very accurate notes of the evidence and can offer a small fee. Let me know if you fit the bill (no pun intended!)

There is a security check in place at the Court and so you need to be there a few minutes before 1.30 if you want to catch the start.

Please rest assured that The Skidder will continue to provide normal service throughout this difficult period. He is also under attack in respect of a civil matter - more of that anon. As ever, if you can make a small donation to keep the blog going please use the donate button on the right of the first page of this post. (If you are viewing on a mobile phone please click through to "web version" to find the "donate" button).

All the attacks on me simply strengthen my resolve to continue to expose the fraud and corruption within bent Sandwell Council. There is a good reason why such extensive steps have been taken for years to close this blog down.

As ever, please keep info coming, You are the eyes and ears for this blog. The Police have tried to interfere with my communication channels but all should be ok now. If you are still worried about that please write to me (address below).


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Twitter:  @SandwellSkidder

Post:  Julian Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG.


Saturday, 8 September 2018

Sandwell Staff Costs - Highest in West Mids!

This blog has repeatedly shown that Jan Britton's bent paid service in the Labour Dictatorship of Sandwell is a byword for fraud, corruption, cronyism and incompetence but according to figures sent to me anonymously this morning it is also the most expensively run Council in the West Midlands.

This is hardly surprising. In Britton's stinking, incestuous, staffing arrangements over seven years most good people have been fired at enormous expense and bound by gagging clauses leaving a bunch of cowardly "yes" men and women most of whom are Labour members or supporters. People are taken on despite earlier failures elsewhere eg Neeraj Sharma (Walsall) and Alison Knight (Sandwell itself!) There is a reason for this.... Many staff are related to Councillors by blood or marriage and their is a history of male senior managers (up to very high levels) shagging female staff who mysteriously then gain promotion or keep their jobs despite their obvious ineptitude.

But here are numbers related to the population of the WM Councils areas:

Spend per head employees:                       Net expenditure per head:

Birmingham             819.07                       1,550.71
Coventry                  754.11                       1,278.44
Dudley                     754.34                       1,305.96
Sandwell                 890.42                       1,620.21
Solihull                    777.87                       1,280.20
Walsall                     702.73                       1,402.73
Wolves                     815.38                       1,476.76

Sandwell has suffered 44 years of Labour rule and is at or near the bottom of every deprivation league table going yet Britton and Cllr E-Lying run the most expensive ship. The left-hand column shows that the bent Council either employs too many people of pays them too much. Britton's Council is an even worse performer than Birmingham!!!!!

Thanks again "Anon". I thought I would cheer you up with the "monument" to Ms xxxxxx xxxxxx who was promoted in Sandwell Parks Department for sexually servicing top management there!

(Please note my postal address below if you are worried about police interference with my communications!)


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Friday, 7 September 2018

Jez Hall Dismissal - Everything Was Fair!

On 4th August, 2018 I wrote about the dismissal of the unfortunate Mr Jez Hall. The link to the blog is below but, in short, Mr Hall was a very long-standing and well-thought of employee at bent Sandwell Council. It seems that he "crossed" certain Councillors with regard to funding streams. He wrote a report which upset people. (The word is that two now ex-Councillors were involved). The Smethwick Xmas Lights - no less - appear in this saga somewhere.

Mr Hall, so it is said, bravely stuck to his guns against intimidation from Councillors and management [sic], and so he was suspended in the usual Sandwell Labour-style - presumably with the approbation of the joke "Chief Executive" who happens to live next door to Mr Tony Barnsley, the Unison rep for Sandwell Council and Mr Hall.

It is alleged that Mr Barnsley was handed (by a person unknown) details of a financial pay-off and a confidentiality clause in respect of Mr Hall and told it was only available for 24 hours. Hall had to take it or leave it. Mr Barnsley "helped" Mr Hall accept the severance package. Mr Jan Britton himself is said to have delivered the coup de grace. (Lest we forget the Labour Leader, Cllr "E-lying" Eling has very publicly stated that the corrupt Labour Council do not use such "gagging clauses" which is an outright, er, LIE!)

To date, Sandwell Council have refused to answer a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request on this subject. Again you can follow this link to read the whole thing but here is the main denial that has been made:

"I can confirm that the Council is not aware of the Council report you allude to and consider the allegation that the Chief Executive requested a change to a report , and said officer's refusal to do so, as grounds for the suspension, is wholly inaccurate."

Full FOI:

And so what DID Mr Hall - a man with an excellent record - DO which led to his suspension and dismissal? What had he done that was so wrong that Unison appear to have decided not to back him? Any info gratefully received! I call upon Jan Britton to waive the confidentiality clause so that Mr Hall can explain all.....

Mr Barnsley is saying now't. I wrote to him on 4th August, 2018 but he has declined to comment.

At least we know one thing. Happily neither Jan Britton nor any member of his bent paid service has done anything wrong in booting popular Jez out. I sent my August blog post on this to the main "auditor", Peter Farrow (the guy who is so, er, competent he, like Jan Britton, "missed" the fraud and corruption, false accounting etc of recent years) and he has replied as follows:

"We have looked into the issues you have raised, and from the information available we have found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of the Council."

So why not answer the FOI then Jan Britton?


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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Wednesbury Xmas Lights - Another Crock of Sh*t!

This blog exposed the Wednesbury Celebrates (WC) scandal which was duly covered up by West Midlands Police (WMP). Their unofficial "Gold Commander" to whom they seem to defer on many operational matters was the Liar* Cllr Elaine Costigan who just happened to be the Treasurer of the aptly named WC for most of the material time.

We have seen time and again how Costigan and grovelling Councillor Peter "Zorro" Hughes have sought to interfere in Wednesbury affairs. Every opportunity is taken to advance themselves and the perfidious Labour Dictatorship/Council. Every "community event" is exploited and ransacked for the publicity it will afford the venal "socialists". And so we come to the switching on of the Wednesbury Christmas Lights in 2017 - normally a happy, non-partisan occasion. But not any more.....

The Lights event as I shall call it is run every year by the Tipton Community Association (TCA) which has an excellent reputation across the Borough for managing outdoor events. But in 2017 it was hijacked by Sandwell Labour. The bent paid service of the Council under the leadership [sic] of Jan Britton yet again failed to adequately answer a Freedom of Information Request on this matter. I now set out below a series of questions and answers put to TCA by a third party which has elicited some shocking replies (shown in red). If anyone has any problem with the replies please refer to TCA. My cooments are in bold.

Questions & Responses:
Wednesbury Christmas Lights Fri 1st Dec 2017

1. Organising Committee:  Sandwell Council advise that the TCA were commissioned  to lead on Mgmt  and delivery of the event and were supported by local organisations and ward members. This doesn’t give all the information I was hoping to receive.                                                                                                                                    

Please may I ask specifically other than yourself and members of the TCA can you name all of the following that were involved?:

Ward Councillors: Elaine Costigan, Pam Hughes, Peter Hughes

Sandwell Council Officers: Tom Hogan (not Hodson)

Labour Party Members (known to you): Maggie Dorsett plus the three Councillors named above

Union Members (known to you): Not known

Businesses/Business Owners: Tony Baker (ANT), Spencer Thrower (Black Country Barbers), Scott & Spencer Evans (Bescot Promotions)

Any other organisations: None involved in the actual planning & management of the event

Did Cllrs Olwen Jones, Bob Lloyd or the newly elected Luke Giles have any input in to this event? If so please could you advise who and what they did? Olwen Jones & Bob Lloyd were not involved in the planning and did not attend any meetings. Luke Giles was not directly involved in the planning and did not attend any meetings, however he did attend the event as a representative of a sponsor (Evans Halshaw) and also assisted with the charity collection on the night of the event

[Skidder Comment - I thought Cllr Pam Hughes was also meant to be a trustee of TCA?]

2. Cllrs Costigan, Pam & Pete Hughes, Labour member Maggie Dorsett, Spencer Thrower and Tony Baker are all said to have been involved in the planning & organisation:
Did any of these named people act against the TCA or act separately to the TCA, as commissioned lead & Mgrs, in organising this event? Yes
If so please could you advise who and how they acted in ways contrary to the TCA management & lead? There appeared to be a hidden agenda. There appeared to be separate secret meetings where arrangements were made without my knowledge. All three Councillors arranged external sponsorship and direct payment of some activities and attractions. These arrangements were kept secret and not discussed at any meetings I attended, even though I requested information on several occasions. The sponsors were not revealed until the event, they did not appear on any publicity until the event when a large banner was placed at the front of the stage. A FINAL meeting was arranged by the three Councillors which had to be rescheduled at my insistence as they had not informed me, or invited me (as the organiser) !
take full responsibility for the amount of funding received through my LAB funding application which is clearly and accurately documented and is now in the possession of SMBC. I have no knowledge of the amounts of any external funding, who received it, or who it was paid to. I felt coerced into accepting decisions that had already been made, even though I knew they were potentially fraudulent. Although official SMBC posters had been produced, there were several other styles of posters created and distributed throughout Wednesbury town centre without my knowledge, when questioned, I could not get a satisfactory answer from any of the three Councillors named above. I was also pressurised into ignoring the requirements of SMBC's Safety at Public Events Committee regarding the Fire Eater's act insurance cover
I was specifically requested to visit a business owner in Wednesbury to discuss her concerns about the location of various elements of the event. During that discussion that person raised the issue of the Wednesbury BID. The very next day, I was subject to a complaint that I had questioned her about the BID. It is my belief that this situation was manipulated by one or more of the three Councillors named, in an attempt to discredit me
In another meeting, where I was trying to ascertain the content and running order of the event (as more secretly arranged items had been added) I was subjected to an array of dirty looks, tuts and eye rolling from all three Councillors, a complaint was then made that I was rude and disrespectful to the Town Lead. An accusation that I strongly deny and in fact have a number of witnesses to support my position. When I raised concern about the level of expenditure (as we were at that point over £1500.00 over budget) I was told to not worry as there was plenty of money and they would simply sign another LAB grant, this I felt was contrary to the spirit of my tender for the project.
Throughout the whole sequence of planning meetings and site visits I felt unwelcome, pressured, and treated with a level of contempt by the three Councillors named 

[Skidder comment - as above re Pam Hughes.]

3. Spencer Thrower, Tony Baker “Rhino” and Ant Event Management: It would appear that Spencer Thrower & “Rhino” are both part of Ant Event Management, B71 3SH: 
Please can you advise if any other organisations were asked to quote for staging and booking acts? The actual stage was booked directly by me through Promarco Ltd of Dudley. Ant Event Management were appointed by me to book acts and run the stage activity during the event as they had done in previous years.
Do you think that it is ethical to have two persons who apparently have an entertainments business “Ant Event Management” as part of the planning group from the initial planning stage? Would this not be a conflict of interest? As this arrangement had been in place for the previous year I saw no reason to not continue with them
Are you aware that Spencer Thrower’s partner was booked to appear, Helen James? At that point in time I was not aware that Helen James was a connected person to any of the organisers
Were any checks done on Ant Event Management  being a bonafide business entity? The website they have used for promotion does not exist currently. There is no UK listing for Ant Event Management or any phone number I can see being listed. I raised this question at the time and reported my concerns to Council Officers, however I was advised to run with it
Did Ant Event Management have all the necessary documents available in their name to be able to ensure the safe running  and legal requirement of any part of the Wednesbury Lights Switch On that they were responsible for ie Public Liability, PAT etc? No
Was Ant Event Management asked to give a new quotation for the 2017 event with breakdown or was it agreed that they charge the same amount as the previous year? I gave Ant Event Management a budget of £1500.00 to work with, leaving them to decide on the content of the entertainment
Please can you advise who approved the use of Ant Event Management and was Cllr Elaine Costigan involved in the approval?  It was apparent at the first meeting that I attended that Ant Event Management were the organisation I was to use for the Wednesbury event
Were the decisions to award Ant Event Management the contract for this event done prior to the TCA being commissioned to manage the event? It is my opinion that this is the case
Is it correct that Tony Baker was first given the contract for the security of the event? Yes
Was this agreed prior to the TCA being commissioned to manage the event? It is my opinion that this is the case
Who approved and/or put forward Tony Baker to supply security? It was apparent at the first meeting that I attended that Ant Event Management were the organisation I was to use for the Wednesbury event
On the night other security were managing the event, please can you advise why Tony Baker and his security were dropped? Although the operatives on the night were the actual persons as those appointed by Tony Baker, I actually made the decision after consulting Council Officers and my fellow organiser Karen Simms, to engage the men under my own organisations management and insurance, as it was clear that there was no legal company structure in place and my own integrity would be put at risk. Therefore the freelance security personnel who were there at the event were appointed by, and paid directly by myself on behalf of Tipton Community Association.

4. Sponsorship, donors etc: This is an area that is not clear at all.  A banner was on the front of the stage purporting to show “sponsors” of the event. I list the following companies and organisations on the banner:
·         Evans Halshaw
·         Gallagher
·         Gaumont
·         Playlands
·         Sandwell MBC (SMBC)
·         The Lamp
·         The Trade Centre
Clearly other than SMBC all of the above are business entities.
For each, other than SMBC, can you advise what was actually sponsored at the event and what costs did the sponsorship cover? I believe that Playlands made a payment of £300.00. I do not know what for or who received it. I only know this because the Manager there asked us for the gazebo and table they had paid £300.00 for!  I have no knowledge whatsoever of any of the other sponsorship deals
If any of the companies donated anything either financially or in material goods please can you advise for each company what they donated and amount? Not Known
Who arranged each of the sponsorship deals or donations, please name? Not Known
If any Cllrs or Sandwell Council Officers agreed to the sponsorship and/or accepted donations please can you name them? Not Known
Who arranged for the printing of the banner, what was the cost and where has it been accounted for? Not Known

[Skidder comment - those of you who have read by blog about hos Jan Britton's bent paid service rigged the Wednesbury BID ballot will note that two friends of La Costigan again feature here. How much was donated, to whom and where did the money go?]

5. Cash Collections:I understand that the TCA passed a total of £1500 to the Mayor of Sandwell for their chosen charity. This compromised monies from Oldbury, Tipton as well as Wednesbury.
On the night of the collections in Wednesbury are you satisfied that you received all of the collecting tins, buckets and any other container used for the purposes of cash collection that you as organiser had distributed? The  number of collecting tubs returned to us on the following Monday was correct
Were all of the cash collection tins, buckets and containers secured, tied and unbroken and returned in the same condition as they were initially distributed? No
Are you satisfied that all your own collections were in order and above board and all monies counted by yourselves represents a true and accurate figure of what was collected on the night? If for any reason you are not please could you advise details? The amount collected was disappointingly low, arrangements had been agreed to collect all the buckets to be stored securely at xxxxxxx [redacted by Skidder - name of local business] where they would be kept until the Monday morning when my Chair of Trustees and myself would meet with the three Councillors named above to count the contents. In the event, when Alan and I arrived at xxxxxxx we were advised that the 'bloke from the barbers' had already taken them. When Alan and I arrived at Wednesbury Town Hall, all the buckets had been opened and the cash tipped into one container
Other than TCA collections were any other collections made by other organisations on the night? If so please if known can you name the persons and/organisations that were making other collections?   Were these collections authorised by TCA? TCA did not authorise any other collections and as far as I am aware no other collections took place

[Skidder comment - this is not the first time this blog has queried the "inadequacy" of street collections involving Sandwell Councils. Remember former Council Tony "Fudgy" Meehan and his bucket collection at "The Friends of Fudgestock" for Wolverhampton Hospital? Alas when I wrote to the Hospital they could not trace the receipt of ANY donation from that source in the year in question.....]

6. Event:There seems to be a number of other holes in the recording, accounting and management  of the event that may not have been in TCA’s control. Please may I respectfully draw your attention to the following  and ask for your response:
1.    Ice Rink - Who organised this, authorised it and paid for it at what cost? Not Known
2.    Jelly Legz - Who organised these, authorised these and paid for their services at what cost? I believe all arrangements were made between Elaine Costigan and Bescot Promotions
3.    Gareth Gates - Who booked him, authorised booking and who paid for his appearance at what cost? Were there any other associated costs involved in his appearance i.e. accommodation, rider etc ? 
Not Known
4.    Stilt Walkers - Who organised these, authorised them and paid for them at what cost? I believe all arrangements were made between Pam Hughes and the organisation concerned
5.    Of the 1- 4 above are you aware if any of them have any personal connections or family ties with Councillors, Sandwell Council Officers and/or any other persons that have been involved in the planning, organising and management of this event? If so please can you name and advise? Not Known

6.    There is a Local Area Budget payment for this event from SMBC to the value of £6036.33 to the TCA. Are you aware of any extra SMBC funding either LAB or other being received by organisations, cllrs  or individual persons that may have contributed to this event? Please can you name and advise amounts if known? Not Known

[Skidder comment - the Labour Council is skint. £6k seems reasonable for an event of this type IF the local traders are behind it. But what was the true cost and who has accounted for the mysterious extra funds and where is this information?]

7. Mgmt, Staff, Councillors and Sandwell Council Officers:
1. Are you happy to state that you are satisfied that TCA had full control of all aspects of the event and the event management and that it was run in accordance with your own good practice?  If not please could you advise why? Although I was left in complete control on the day (I was there from 9.00am through to 9.00pm) I cannot honestly say that TCA were allowed to manage the Wednesbury event to our own good practice  
2. At any time during the planning process, management and the night of the event were you at any time coerced in to making decisions that you did not agree to? If you were are you able to advise in what way you may have been coerced and by whom? Particularly regarding Ant Management, xxxxxxxxxxxxx [Slidder redaction for legal reasons], and the inferred instruction to ignore the requirements of the SAPE Committee regarding the Fire Act's level of insurance cover
3. Since the event has taken place have you been put under any pressure to not release any details of accounting, management, sponsorship, donations and or  any other matters that may compromise the good name of the TCA or implicate others in any way that may be detrimental to their reputation? If you have please could you advise the circumstances and the persons involved? I have been advised to tread carefully by Council Officers so as not to return to the 'days where TCA were excluded from any working relationship with Sandwell Council'
4. Since the event have you received any implied or explicit threat to undermine the good name of the TCA and/or deny yourselves funding and/or council resources or the withdrawal of your lease of The Brook Street Community Centre?  If you have please could you advise the circumstances and the persons involved? Yes, this is happening now, we have already been deliberately excluded from this years Christmas Events, I have received several reports from members of the public regarding inflammatory and potentially slanderous comments being made by at least one Ward Councillor. I cannot comment further on this point at the moment as it is currently being investigated by the relevant employer of the said person and I would not wish to prejudice any decisions that may be made
5. Have you received any implied or explicit threat or similar that may make you feel uneasy in being able to continue your role professionally and for the good of the community in an open, honest & transparent manner?  If you have please could you advise the circumstances and the persons involved? Yes, both myself and other members of TCA Management Team feel under pressure at the moment, we feel intimidated and deflated, and although we want to let the community know what is happening we are genuinely frightened that our activities will suffer and our facilities will be pulled from under us. We firmly believe however, that the public will come down firmly on our side and therefore will continue to bring this bullying and corruption to light
6. I am aware of comments that some officers and councillors have made to myself and other organisations in the past. The phrase “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” is a popular one   thrown out. At any time have you received comments similar to this from Cllrs or SMBC Officers? Please can you advise which Cllrs and/or SMBC Officers have made these type of comments to you? Yes, on several occasions
7. Do you feel that you are being coerced by Cllrs and SMBC Officers to tow [sic] the line and not the wishes of your organisation or community? I truly believe that this is the case


[Skidder comment - here we ago again - vicious bullying by the Labour Dictatorship! Who is running this year's event and how are the finances being handled? Once again how is Cllr Pam Hughes tied up in all this - though given her performance at "Ask Andy" she has no independent will and is merely a cipher for the ludicrous Zorro?]

Stop Press

Since writing about the bent BID ballot overseen by Jan Britton's staff a trader has approached me directly. The trader claims to have been canvassed to agree to the BID directly by both Cllrs Costigan and Pam Hughes but was also NEVER sent a ballot paper.....

I also raised the involvement of Mr Mike Maynard in all this and my FOI request to the bent Council has been acknowledged today. Regular readers will know that Maynard boasted that he was specifically asked by the Council to run the "publicity" for the BID and so set up Facebook and Twitter accounts. What was in it for him - an obsessive photographer? Maynard has also revealed what might be the answer - he has also boasted that the Council are considering "funding" his photography"!


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*See previous blogs for the reasoning behind this nomenclature.